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Doll Therapy

Guidelines for Doll Therapy

Dolls are known to soothe and comfort people with Alzheimer's disease. More women than men will choose a doll to nurture, but many men do benefit from holding a doll, so don't rule out doll therapy for the man or men in your care.

Think about how you will present the doll to your loved one. It’s often better that the doll not be given directly to the person with Alzheimer’s disease, but to leave it somewhere it will be found. This way the individual can make the choice to provide care for the doll, not feel that they are being given the responsibility to do so, which could cause anxiety and possible rejection of the doll.

For Doll Therapy to be effective, it is recommended that you use a doll that is as lifelike as possible. Introduce the doll in the middle stages of Alzheimer's, or even in earlier stage, depending on the individual. Often when introduced later, the person fails to or has a more difficult time making a connection with the doll. Once the connection has been made, the rest is easy. It's a self-administering therapy.

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